Union indicts Ministry of Education for ‘overburdening’ teachers

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Public school teachers, through their bargaining agent the Antigua & Barbuda Union of Teachers, (A&BUT), have expressed a level of frustration about problems that are affecting their delivery of instruction to students.
The educators are also asking for some level of consideration from the banking sector when they seek to apply for loans and other requests.
President of the A&BUT Ashworth Azille laid out the issues yesterday when he presented the State of the Union Address during the Annual General Conference.
“Every day, I am met by an educator, who laments ‘Oh, I am feeling so stressed out, I am feeling overburdened’. Very often when you delve a little deeper, the overburden is not really in response to what they do in the classroom,” Azille said.
He said that the teachers are overburdened with the many additional and “senseless responsibilities” that are being added to their lives.
The A&BUT president said teachers are being asked to use their personal time to file surveys, reports and other documentation which can be handled by the statistics department within the Ministry of Education.
He added that these chores take away from the little time the teachers have to prepare and rejuvenate in between class sessions.
“My teachers are saying they want to teach; they are saying they want to reach the children; they want to use their lunch and break time to recover from the stresses of the teaching and learning process. It is about time that we stop being stingy, because when I last walked into the Ministry of Education, it was fully staffed,” Azille said during his speech, which was punctuated by applause from hundreds of teachers.
He charged that while the ministry is blessed with a healthy staff complement, teachers are small in numbers.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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